Re: To feed or not to feed [that is the question and a couple more]
In my view all of these are wrong, because each of them is just a blanket rule to apply regardless of what the bees are doing. The correct answer is feed if they need it.
Originally Posted by Abejas
Any new package should be fed initially because they have nothing in reserve. They will not be in a position to swarm for several weeks so can safely be fed whatever they will take for the first few weeks. After that, feeding should be according to their needs. In other words have a look inside the hive, if it is obvious the hive is getting full of nectar / sugar, stop feeding. But then of course monitor to ensure they are getting enough nectar to be self sufficient, this is not judged by activity at the entrance, but by what the inside of the hive looks like in terms of how much they are storing.
As to your current situation, feeding a queenless hive is high risk of robbing. At 25 days since it swarmed, it's getting to the end of the time there should be a new queen laying, I'm wondering if the disturbance from the sugar dusting, feeding, has caused a problem for the new virgin, a swarmed hive, other than one check to prevent afterswarms, should be left to it's own devises till it has the new queen sorted. However you may find within the next few days if you look carefully there will be eggs. If not, perhaps one of your mentores could help out by giving you a comb with new eggs in it to put in the hive to see if they build queen cells or not. If they build queen cells they do not have a queen and could safely have a bought queen given to them, after you destroy the queen cells. The mentor could be given his comb back after the new queen has settled.
After the hive has a laying queen, then you can feed it if needed to help them store enough to get through winter.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).